All About Burn Injuries: Burn Injury Awareness Week (Part I)

Three thousand, five hundred. That is how many people die each year from fires and burn injuries. Of those, 3,000 deaths usually occur in residential fires and 500 occur from car crash fires, aircraft crashes, electrocution and contact with dangerous chemicals or hot liquids.

Over three quarters of these burn-related deaths occur at the scene of the fire or explosion or during transport to the hospital. Most victims of serious burn injuries, once they make it to the hospital, are able to recover from their injuries.

Yesterday, the American Burn Association (ABA) kicked off their annual Burn Awareness Week by focusing on scald injury prevention. During the first week of February every year, the ABA partners with burn, fire and life safety educators to send a message to the public about common burn awareness and prevention.

In looking at the statistics released for 2011, it appears that more Americans are being admitted into burn centers each year. It is believed that approximately 25,000 people a year sustain serious burn injuries – to the point where they have to be admitted into hospitals and facilities with specialized burn units. Another 20,000 have to be hospitalized for their burn injuries, but do not require specialized treatment.

Serious burn injuries by the numbers:

  • 96.1 percent are able to recover from their burn injuries
  • 70 percent of those seriously burned are male
  • 44 percent are burned by fire or flame
  • 33 percent are seriously scalded
  • 16 percent are burned by contact, electrical and chemicals
  • 68 percent of burn injuries occur at home
  • 10 percent of burn injuries occur at work
  • 7 percent of burn injuries occur on streets or highways, typically in car fires

Check back for our next post on tips for preventing burn injuries at home.

Source: American Burn Association, “Burn Incidence and Treatment in the United States: 2011 Fact Sheet.”